***Reblogged from Facebook***
October 11, 2013
Intifada Youth Coalition announces it will challenge the Israeli sea blockade on #Gaza
The Intifada Youth Coalition declares it’s time for Palestinians and internationals supporting them to break the #Israeli and #Egyptian blockade of the Gaza sea. The coalition announced a plan to accompany fishermen as they attempt to sail freely out of their port. “We will sail with our countrymen as they work to support their families and feed the people of Gaza and we’ll only be armed with international law. It is an attempt to challenge the conscience of the world.” said Majed Abusalama, one of the organisers. “For too long, the international community has stood by, while Israel and now even #Egypt prevent us from sailing in our own territorial waters, and using the wealth of our own sea to support ourselves and economy.”
The specific day for the the action has not yet been announced, but will be revealed three days before it takes place.
Since September 2000, the Israeli military has prevented Palestinians in Gaza from fishing freely in the Mediterranean sea along Gaza’s coastline, varying the limit according to their whims.
Currently, fishermen who attempt to sail within six nautical miles are shot at and/or arrested and their boats are often confiscated. This causes physical injuries as well as significant economic harm.
More than 10,000 Gazans made their living through fishing prior to the blockade. That number now has dropped to fewer than 3,500. Since the beginning of 2012 dozens of fishermen have been injured and/or arrested. Yet they keep trying, because good catches are only possible at a minimum of 7-8 nautical miles from the coast.
Recently, following the ouster of its democratically elected president by the Egyptian military, Egypt joined Israel by imposing the sea blockade. On August 30, for instance, five Palestinian fishermen were arrested by Egyptian forces. They were charged with breaching Egyptian territorial waters, and were sentenced to one year in prison and fined $60 each – just for trying to make a living.
The so-called security concerns of Israel and Egypt do not justify collective punishment. The coalition calls on the international community, including the media, human rights organisations and activists, to stand with us as we fight for our right to fish and show our self-determination.
Do not hesitate to contact us for more information:
Emails: [email protected], [email protected]
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Intifada.Coalition